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Orange regain Summit title

August 7, 2017
By LOU REUTER - Senior Sports Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - Earlier last week, co-director Kevin Leveille described the thousands of players, friends and fans who came to the 28th annual Lake Placid Summit Classic lacrosse tournament as a big family.

And a good chunk of that group - those involved with the Syracuse University program - may have been the tightest bunch of all within the clan.

On Sunday, the Syracuse faithful left the North Elba athletic fields with that championship feeling after Burning Orange topped GMH Lacrosse 8-6 to take the Summit men's 18-and-over gold division title in what is traditionally the tournament's most competitive division.

Article Photos

While a teammate applies defensive pressure, Burning Orange goalie Dom Lamolinara gets set to make a save on a shot by a GMH opponent during the first half of Sunday’s men’s 18-and-over gold championship game in the 28th annual Lake Placid Summit Classic lacrosse tournament. Burning Orange won 8-6 in the final match of the tournament.
(News photo — Lou Reuter)

Burning Orange, a collection of current and former Syracuse players, lost in the final in 2016. But this time around, the team stayed on top from start to finish to pull out the close victory in the final match of the tournament.

"I've been coming up here and playing with these guys for a bunch of years," said Chris Daniello, a 2010 Syracuse graduate who was named his team's most valuable player in the final. "I don't think there's any tradition like this. We come up to Lake Placid with a big group, we come up here with confidence, and hopefully, we have enough guys on the roster to compete and at least get to the championship game."

"It's a big deal winning this. There are a lot of bragging rights," added Burning Orange coach Tim Harder, a 2011 grad. "There are a lot of really good teams, a lot of great competition, but I think one of the things that we bring to the table, more than anyone else, is the family aspect of it. We all love each other, we have all been playing together for a really long time."

Harder said this year's Burning Orange team was made up five current college players, two incoming freshmen and the rest alumni.

"We're Syracuse graduates, current guys and incoming guys, and any time we get a squad up here and have some healthy bodies we can really make a run at this," he said. "We get together and we have fun, but there's nothing more fun that winning. That's what we try to do. We took care of the ball, we played good team defense, did well on ground balls. There really wasn't anything we struggled with. We played a complete game."

The 18-and-over gold division included 16 teams.

Another competitive division was the men's 35-and-over, and that final was also tight, with CroArt Nation defeating the Olden Flyers 7-5 for its first Lake Placid Summit title. The team is based in New England and has traveled to the tournament for the past six years, and has suffered some tough defeats, including an overtime setback a year ago in its first game of the tournament.

"Last year, we lost in overtime right off the bat to the defending champions, so we were already playing for fifth," said Bill Rentiers, who played his college lacrosse at Eastern Connecticut State. "We dethroned the defending champs this time. We just have fun coming up here, but winning a title is great. It's our first and it was a long time coming."

CroArt Nation posted a 4-0 record and outscored the opposition 36-14 on the way to the title.

"We were firing on all cylinders," said Nation goalie Rorke Greene, a 2003 University of Hartford alum who lives in Norwalk, Connecticut. "We moved the ball, we moved well off ball, and we all clicked. That's what wins championships.

"It's a very big deal," Greene added. "This is the white whale. This is the one everybody wants and we got it. It's pretty exciting. Now I have a long drive home, but it's going to be much better with the win."



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